Champions League final delayed for ‘security reasons’
Liverpool’s Champions League final against Real Madrid was delayed amid chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France.
France’s national stadium stepped in to host the showpiece after St Petersburg was stripped of the final in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This is the third time that the Stade de France has hosted the Champions League final but there seemed a distinct lack of organisation around this occasion.
Kick-off has been delayed by 15 minutes. #UCLfinal
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 28, 2022
There were shambolic scenes outside the ground in the hours before the match and the stadium announcer confirmed at 8.46pm local time – 14 minutes before kick-off – that kick-off had been delayed.
UEFA at first confirmed it would start at 8.15pm. The stadium announcer claimed it was due to “the late arrival of fans at the stadium” and the governing body said it was due to “security reasons”.
However, Liverpool later posted on Twitter: “Kick-off has now been delayed by a further 15 minutes until 8.30pm BST.”
Kelly Cates – the daughter of Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish – posted: “Absolutely shambolic at the Stade de France.
“No way in, no way of knowing which way to go. Stay safe if you’re heading in. It has the potential to be very dangerous.”
Gate Y appears now to be closed. Fans packed up against the bars outside. It’s a very bad look. pic.twitter.com/UWl9r3w6hJ
— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) May 28, 2022
There were large patches of empty seats as the original kick-off time passed and went, with long queues forming due to a distinct lack of organisation.
Some ticketless fans were seen scaling the perimeter fence or attempting to dart past security.
At least one gate was locked outside the ground – Gate Y, which was the main one for the Liverpool end.
Fans were seen up against the fence shouting at people to sort the situation out and let them in. Riot police were in attendance with tear gas being used.
Liverpool emerged to warm-up again at 9.06pm local time as the delay continued.